Tim Tebow did something on Tuesday he'd never done before. Tebow, now in his fourth big-league camp as an outfielder with the New York Mets, notched his first spring training extra-base hit by delivering a two-run homer off Detroit Tigers right-hander Alex Wilson.
Tebow, 32, is about to embark on his fourth full professional season. He spent 2019 in Triple-A, but struggled to perform and stay healthy. In 77 games he hit .163/.240/.255 with four home runs and 78 more strikeouts than walks. Tebow had previously fared better than expected in Double-A the season prior, posting a .734 OPS despite limited professional reps.
Wilson, for his part, is hoping to crack Detroit's Opening Day bullpen. He's been an effective reliever in the past, compiling a career 124 ERA+ and 2.51 strikeout-to-walk ratio in more than 300 appearances. Wilson didn't fare as well during his brief big-league stint last season, permitting 15 hits and 12 runs in 11 innings with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Here's a look at Tebow's blast on Tuesday:
The Mets' continued employment of Tebow has and will continue to raise eyebrows. For as gifted as he is athletically -- and he has above-average raw power and speed -- the odds have been against him having a meaningful baseball career due to his advanced age and lack of polish. (Tebow hadn't played baseball since his high-school days, having wisely prioritized football.) This figures to be a pivotal season, then, as another poor year could force the Mets' hand on releasing Tebow.
That's a conversation for the future though. For Tuesday, at least, Tebow found himself on the right side of the ledger, and the sun was smiling down and anything felt possible. Maybe, even, a big-league cameo late in the season.